Father and daughter successfully tackle FAMU College of Law

Sarah Diekman and her dad Franklin shared many experiences when they lived in rural Dyer, Ind.

“I was always very close to my dad,” Sarah said. “I still remember the time he built a hutch for some orphaned ducklings in our rural neighborhood. We also built a clubhouse in the woods and some great snow forts. I have fond, fond memories of my life with dad. We had a lot of great times together.”

When she announced she was headed to law school, she figured more great times could be had with her dad.

You know, like studying torts.

So she challenged her dad to take the LSAT. He did.

And now they are about to graduate together from Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando.

Franklin Diekman said he always wanted to attend law school, but life interceded. After receiving his bachelor’s, he worked in business, first in sales, and then in administration. During that time, he received a post-baccalaureate degree in accounting and later, an MBA. He later became a CPA.

His daughter was already accomplished before law school. Indeed, she’s a doctor, having received her M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine.

“I wanted to learn more about the law and how it affected health care and the health care work environment. I am happy to say that goal was accomplished at FAMU Law,” she said. “I feel prepared to help legislative and legal initiatives that will make healthcare safer and more effective for everyone.”

This is the not first case of a father and daughter going to law school at the same time. Tim and Sarah Smith graduated from The University of Akron School of Law in December of 2018.

They got to graduate live and in-person, though. The Diekmans will not.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, universities are not hosting in-person graduations at this time. While the new normal is the virtual commencement, that likely won’t dampen the joy they will feel.

Sarah’s plans after graduation are settled, while Frank’s journey is still evolving. Both of them plan to take the bar exam.

After graduation, she will start a residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in occupational and environmental medicine. That means she will be participating in the COVID-19 pandemic response.

There is a lot of overlap between medicine and law in this field, especially during a pandemic where quarantine has been an issue,” she said. “I think COVID-19 will be a focus of mine for a long time.”



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